Walking is the most ordinary thing a human can do. Unless we have a physical impairment, we take this activity completely for granted. A French study suggests we should start paying more attention to the benefits of walking, especially as we age.
The impact of the simple act of walking in adults over 65 had a remarkable effect: over the course of the 12-year study, regular walking of just 15 minutes a day reduced the rate of mortality by 22%. The rate was even higher with longer and more frequent activity levels.
As the lead researcher stated: “Age is not an excuse to do no exercise. It is well established that regular physical activity has a better overall effect on health than any medical treatment. But less than half of older adults achieve the recommended minimum of 150 minutes moderate intensity or 75 minutes vigorous intensity exercise each week.”
THIS FINDING SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE.
Because it is so basic to us, the act of walking has been extensively studied for its effects on various aspects of the human condition. Some people don’t see walking as an aerobic exercise and so ignore its benefits. The definition of “aerobic” exercise is that which stimulates heart and respiratory rates to pump additional oxygen to muscles. Even a slow stroll does that. The faster you walk, the more aerobic the activity.